The Terence Crutcher Foundation has announced a week of community remembrance and action – in both Tulsa and Washington, DC – ahead of the fifth anniversary of Terence’s death.
Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, executive director of the foundation and twin sister to the late Terence Crutcher, has advocated at the city, state and national levels for police accountability and community justice since former Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby killed Terence in 2016.
Crutcher Sr., who was stuck in the middle of the road after his car broke down, didn’t commit a crime at the time of his death. Instead, officer Shelby, who was responding to a separate call, pulled over when she saw Crutcher and eventually shot him to death.
Police killings of civilians continue at high rate
While Shelby was acquitted by a Tulsa County jury, jurors recommended she not remain a police officer.
Since then, police killings of civilians in the U.S. have continued unabated at a rate of approximately 1,000 deaths per year, according to data website Mapping Police Violence.
After George Floyd’s public and viral police lynching in Minneapolis in 2020, the resulting nationwide uprising created a catalyst for change.
Foundation honors victim of police killing, calls for passage of bill
Politicians drafted a bill that would create a nationwide database of police misconduct, that would rein in chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and that would eliminate or drastically reduce immunity for police officers who face lawsuits. Legislators called it the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Despite President Biden’s desire to have the bill sent to his desk for signing on the anniversary of Floyd’s death in May, the bill continues to collect dust as Republicans refuse to drop qualified immunity for police officers.
For her part, Dr. Crutcher, whose foundation strives to ending police violence and supporting families, has never stopped fighting for justice.
Thursday, September 16 marks five years since the death of Terence Crutcher, and in return, the Terence Crutcher Foundation has planned a week of remembrance and advocacy to honor the anniversary.
Yesterday, it hosted a discussion on the importance of Black mentorship with the Thunder Fellows, the creators of the documentary Fruit and Etan Thomas, a former NBA Player.
Today, Dr. Crutcher supported the family of Julius Jones as the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board decided to recommend a commutation of his death sentence in a historic 3-1 vote.
On Wednesday, the Terence Crutcher Foundation will partner with Demanding a Just Tulsa to host a city-wide Day of Action to drive toward progress in Terence’s memory.
Thursday, events will continue with a candlelight vigil in Terence’s honor at the 36th St. North Event Center in Tulsa. Dr. Tiffany Crutcher will join National Leaders and others for a press conference in Washington, D.C. calling for a National day of advocacy.
On Friday, the Terence Crutcher Foundation will join the NAACP and Georgetown University’s School of Law for a virtual town hall regarding “the oppressive Oklahoma laws criminalizing and endangering the first amendment rights of peaceful protestors,” according to a press release.
Finally, on Saturday, the Terence Crutcher Foundation will host a Day of Service at 36th St. North Event Center, offering free food and door prizes to community members.
Foundation calls for remembrance, service and action
The event will include a free, walk-in vaccination clinic and a donation drive to support victims of Hurricane Ida. Moreover, the foundation will also recognize 10 Black-led organizations & community leaders.
A few months ago, it seemed as though the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would pass after Sen. Cory Booker managed to gain support from the Fraternal Order of Police to end qualified immunity. But without support from Sheriff’s associations, Sen. Tim Scott wasn’t willing to move forward.
Dr. Crutcher has noted that shortly before her brother’s death, he told her “God’s going to get the glory out of my life.”
“Terence’s legacy lives on this week, and we invite every Tulsan who believes in justice to join us in this week of remembrance, service and action,” the Foundation stated.